Fairytale Castle

Trip Start Apr 25, 2013
Trip End Nov 02, 2013

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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, August 1, 2013

During my time in Europe, I have visited a lot of castles. The Neuschwanstein Castle was something very unique. Unlike so many castles, built of course for defence and to repel siege warfare, this was different. It was built in the late 19th century, as a luxury residence for Bavarian King Lugwig II, otherwise known as Ludwig the Mad. Its a picturebook castle, nestled in the mountains of south east Germany, its white stone and elevated presence dominating the spectacular lush green countryside around it. Such is the castles beauty, it served as the blueprint and inspiration behind the famous Walt Disney castle.
The five of us (Jason, Matt, Natalie, Marielle and I) set off on this tour from Hauptbahnhof Central Station around 10am. The most difficult part was finding the meeting spot. From there, our tour guide organized everything especially well, giving passionate and entertaining history and information along the way. The journey itself from Munich to the castle site took the best part of 2 hours. One metro or S-Bahn train for 40 minutes, and another connecting regional train for around 80 minutes. From there, time enough to wolf down a bratwurst and board a bus to the mountaintop to visit the castle.
The site here was actually home to two castles, the first a yellow estate, where Ludwig was raised as a child, and the main event the Neuschwanstein after he took the throne at age 18, after his father suddenly died from illness. There were a few stops to make on the way to our guided tour of the castle; lookout points, a dangerously overcrowded lookout bridge and a waterfall. Our guided tour was to start at 2.55pm. At 2.40, we were given time to take photos outside and make our way to the entry. Alas, we lost Marielle. She elected to take a toilet stop, and didn't make it to the tour on time. We advised the tour guide, who said hed find her and get her on the next tour in 15 minutes. We joined our scheduled tour, at the risk of otherwise missing it. We called Marielle, who had found our guide, then slam, the doors were closed behind us! The tour lasted around 45 minutes, through the opulent and intricately furnished castle rooms. Everything was jeweled, furniture, chandeliers, even stone pillars. Lugwig even had his own personal cave installed in the castle. That's right, a cave, stalactites, stone, the works, giving man cave a new definition. The tour lasted around 45 minutes, where after we were reunited with Marielle at the completion of her German speaking tour. Luckily for her, she got the gist of it.
We met our guide and started down the mountainside, enjoying the views on the way. We sought comfort from the stifling 35C heat with a round of ice creams, before getting the bus and train back to Munich around 7.30.
We finished the day, and our time in Munich touring beer gardens. Augustinebrau, Lowenbrau, and a return to the Hofbrauhaus for one last time!
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